City Rail Link

What is CRL?

What is CRL?

When CRL opens in 2024, Aucklanders get a modern and efficient rail service that benefits the entire transport network for decades to come
— Hon Phil Twyford, Minister for Transport

  Minister of Transport, Hon. Phil Twyford, Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff, Finance Minister, Hon. Grant Robertson and Deputy Auckland Mayor, Bill Cashmore in the CRL Albert Street trench

Minister of Transport, Hon. Phil Twyford, Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff, Finance Minister, Hon. Grant Robertson and Deputy Auckland Mayor, Bill Cashmore in the CRL Albert Street trench

The City Rail Link (CRL) in 60 seconds

  • The City Rail Link is a game-changer for Auckland. It’s the largest transport infrastructure project ever to be undertaken in New Zealand

  • It allows the rail network to at least double rail capacity. New rail transport growth statistics suggest that by 2035, CRL stations will need to cope with 54,000 passengers an hour at peak travel times, rather than the original estimate of 36,000.

  • The CRL is a 3.45km twin-tunnel underground rail link up to 42 metres below the city centre transforming the downtown Britomart Transport Centre into a two-way through-station that better connects the Auckland rail network

  • It includes a redeveloped Mount Eden Station, where the CRL connects with the North Auckland (Western Line) and new underground stations - one mid-town at Wellesley and Victoria Streets provisionally named Aotea and at Karangahape Road - provisionally named Karangahape with entrances at both Mercury Lane and Beresford Square

  • The CRL will improve travel options and journey times. From Mt Eden Station it will take only three minutes to get to the uptown Karangahape Station, six minutes to the mid-town Aotea Station and nine minutes to the downtown Britomart Station.

  • The CRL will extend the existing rail line underground through Britomart, to Albert, Vincent and Pitt Streets, and then cross beneath Karangahape Road and the Central Motorway Junction to Symonds Street before rising to join the western line at Eden Terrace where the Mount Eden Station is. Mount Eden Station will be significantly re-developed

  • The tendering process for the project’s main stations and tunnels contract now incorporates longer platform tunnels at Karangahape Station to cater for nine-car trains (instead of six), a second Karangahape Station entrance at Beresford Square and additional station work at Britomart, Aotea and Mt Eden stations

  • Britomart will no longer be a "dead end" station but a through station

  • The depth of the two new underground stations - Aotea Station 11m depth and Karangahape Road 33m

  • The CRL is jointly funded by the Government and Auckland Council

  • City Rail Link Ltd which came into being on 1 July 2017, has full governance, operational and financial responsibility for the CRL, with clear delivery targets and performance expectations. The project 's total cost was estimated with a funding envelope of $3.4b

  • Completion date - the CRL is due for completion in 2024.

How will I notice it as a rail user?

Making Britomart a through station will allow better than a train every 10 minutes at peak (on average) for most Auckland stations. It allows the rail network to at least double capacity.

It will give you quicker travel and better access to more parts of the city centre with the new stations near mid-town and at Karangahape Road. It will be faster because trains no longer have to go all the way to Britomart and stop dead there.


For example, Kingsland train travellers will have a 70% saving in travel times to the city (10 minutes compared to the present 34). Ellerslie to Karangahape Rd will be 18 minutes (instead of the present 35 to Britomart – a 49% times savings).

What if I am a bus user?

Bus capacity is starting to be a concern to the extent light rail is also being planned. Without the CRL, major bus routes will be at or over capacity in 2021.

The CRL provides more public transport options enabling more people to consider train travel and so helping enable a much more efficient and effective bus network.

But what if I am a motorist?

The CRL has transport benefits for large parts of Auckland, including road users, as making public transport a better travel choice will ease pressure on roads for those who need to use them.  A 6-carriage electric train takes about 625 cars off the road.

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